During the DAMN. era, Kendrick Lamar indirectly addressed his detractors on several songs without explicitly naming them. For example, fans speculated that he was targeting Big Sean and Drake on ‘The Heart Part 4’, and Jay Electronica on ‘ELEMENT.’ for a verse on ‘#TBE The Curse Of Mayweather’ that referenced Kendrick. Recently, an original version of ‘ELEMENT.’ has surfaced online featuring Kendrick explicitly calling out several individuals by name.
In the leaked version, Kendrick directly references Jay Electronica, Big Sean, and French Montana. The mention of French Montana appears to be in response to comments he made on The Breakfast Club in 2016, where he suggested that street rap doesn’t sell as well as Kendrick’s music. Kendrick also addresses Big Sean’s alleged sneak dissing, attributing it to false confidence. He dismisses the idea of being responsible for earning someone’s respect and criticizes the notion that fame is derived from whom one dates rather than their musical talent. Additionally, Kendrick dismisses any comparison to the Drake and Meek Mill beef and asserts his own dominance as a formidable force in the industry.
It’s worth noting that this leaked version of ‘ELEMENT.’ is not a recent development. A snippet of the same verse leaked back in April 2019 over a different beat. The leaked version also features Kendrick proclaiming himself as the King of Hip-Hop and asserting his authority over others by telling them to go to their room like a parent would to a child. Despite these confrontational lyrics, it should be noted that Kendrick and Big Sean have resolved their past tensions following Nipsey Hussle’s death. Therefore, this leaked track is unlikely to incite any new drama. Nonetheless, it provides an intriguing glimpse into Kendrick’s mindset at that point in his career.